I’m in the process of writing proposals to send to Harlequin for my next Superromances and had to come up with names for three brothers. It’s a more difficult task than you would think. With each name we choose, we want to convey a certain image, of strength and vitality, or of masculine dependability. There are so many ways in which we shape our heroes and the name can be a large part of that. I write about cowboys and, in an effort to avoid names that seem to be overused in fiction, turned to my research books about modern-day cowboys. What I found surprised me.
For every ‘common’ name I found such as Bill, Keith, John and Jim, there was what I consider a name that is part of the fictional cowboy culture, as found in books or movies, or heard often in the country music culture. Those included Tyson, Shane, Duke, Chad, Lyle, Cody, Casey, Jake, Colt, Sonny, Christian, Travis; however, these men weren’t celluloid stars. They were real men doing real cowboy and ranch work, difficult jobs in the best and the worst weather.
I wondered about the cowboy heroes we portray in our romance fiction and whether any names have become so overused, or such a cliché that readers are tired of seeing them.
Some of the names I've used so far in my Supers are Hank and Cash and Rem (Remington). Hank is the strong, silent type. Cash is masculine and sexy. Rem is a bad boy turned good.
My three brothers will be named Gabriel (Gabe), Tyler (Ty) and Jonathan (Jon).
So…a curious author wants to know, on the issue of names, which are you as readers so tired of you never want to read them again. These can be in any subgenre of romance fiction, not just cowboy names.
On the flip side, which names do you LOVE and which male characteristics do they portray for you? My favorites are Michael and Gabe. I haven't used Michael yet, but will one day.
I would love to give away a copy of my Super This Cowboy's Son to one of you who comments here ;-)